FARMINGTON — Music, food and some “old tyme” fun highlighted a full day of activities during Farmington’s Summer Fest Saturday.

Among the nearly 20 live musical performances offered at four different stations was a steel drum band from the Blue Hill area.

Flash! in the Pans performed a variety of happy, toe-tapping music on Broadway. Some people danced in the street to the “uplifting, energetic music,” as one member called it.

Leader Carl Chase became interested in steel drum music back in 1974, he said. There were not many people in Maine playing the drums, so he started teaching them how.

The band formed in 1991 and now plays every Monday evening during the summer, and for organizations in his area who are trying to fund raise. 

“We donate our performance,” he said. “We consider it our community service.”


About 25 or so of the 30 band members came to Farmington for Summer Fest, an annual summer festival sponsored by the Farmington Downtown Association. Susun Terese, Andy Shattuck and Sue Jones spearhead the event.

Broadway and Church Street were blocked off as over 50 exhibitors showcased food, art and displays. Stores along the downtown streets offered special sales and contests.

Pirates and mermaids gathered at the Franklin County Children’s Task Force — this year’s children’s parade organizer — to parade down the alley across Broadway and up Main to Cast-Away Island, also known as Meetinghouse Park.

While visiting relatives in the area, Luke, Sam and Rachel Farkas of Richmond, Virginia, had fun this week putting together costumes for the parade, according to their mother.

At the park, several children’s games and activities, bounce houses, a “Punch and Judy” puppet show and entertainment in the bandstand were offered.

Following the children’s parade, an unexpected parade of motorcycles made their way up Main Street with the help of a Farmington police officer. The group was on a ride through Farmington and had made previous arrangements with the Police Department for the escort.


Buskers and magicians set up along the sidewalks to entertain, along with vendors and organizations offering everything from popcorn to jewelry, crafts and more.

The farmers market opened in the food court on Church Street, where people mulled around tasting samples and purchasing Mexican food, barbecue, sweet treats and more.

Local historian Paul Mills provided a narrative of interesting information as people enjoyed historic horse-drawn wagon rides.

The day topped off with an Old Crow Band concert in honor of its 65th year anniversary, the Spandits road races and the Dreamin’ Big Bed Race across Broadway.

Mermaids and pirates stroll down Broadway in Farmington Saturday morning in the children’s parade during Farmington’s Summer Fest.

Mermaids and pirates stroll down Broadway in Farmington Saturday morning in the children’s parade during Farmington’s Summer Fest.

Mermaids and pirates stroll down Broadway in Farmington Saturday morning in the children’s parade during Farmington’s Summer Fest.

Grace LaPoint becomes a mermaid and her grandmother, Cindy Pooler, a crab, for the children’s parade held during Farmington’s Summer Fest on Saturday. 

Ralph Parsons, left, holds the sail on his grandson, Silas Thompson, who dressed up as a pirate ship Saturday during the children’s parade at Farmington’s Summer Fest. Mom Jessica Thompson and sister Nadia watch.

Happy, foot-tapping music was shared by Flash! in the Pans, a steel drum band from the Blue Hill area, on Saturday during Farmington’s Summer Fest.

Some danced to the music of Flash! in the Pans, including Susun Terese, organizer of Farmington’s Summer Fest, front, waving a green streamer at the festival Saturday.

Sue Jones, organizer of events in Meetinghouse Park at Farmington’s Summer Fest on Saturday, watches as a child spins the wheel for a prize. Several games and a “Punch and Judy” puppet show were held in the park.

Blue Crew root beer floats were sold Friday night and Saturday during Farmington’s Summer Fest as a fundraiser for the Mt. Blue High School robotics team. The team is raising money to attend the robotics world championships in Detroit in April. Pictured setting up Friday night, are, from left, Katie Holmes, Hollie Pike, Matthew Gallant and Chandler Pike.

Fred Barton of Fred and Matilda’s Petting Zoo helps Michael Pelkey, 5, feed Molly the goat Saturday on the lawn of the Pierce House during Farmington’s Summer Fest.

Kate, Vivian and Mary Gilman roast marshmallows at a sidewalk stand hosted by Camp Cody at Farmington’s Summer Fest on Saturday afternoon.

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